Surgeons successfully separate 13-month-old conjoined twins

By Angeli Kakade, Buzz60

After more than 16 hours of surgery, 13-month-old twin boys conjoined at the head are finally separated.

Jadon and Anias McDonald underwent the rare Craniopagus surgery early Friday morning at the Children's Hospital at Montefiore Medical Center in NY.

The surgeon, Dr. James Goodrich is an expert on craniopagus surgery and the McDonald's case makes this his 7th separation surgery - and the world's 59th.

Mom and Dad - Nicole and Christian McDonald shared their heartbreaking story on GoFundMe saying their biggest worry about having twins was needing to buy a van. After finding out their unborn babies were craniopagus twins, the McDonalds bravely chose to keep them and fight.

Anais was the dominant twin but his health problems against Jadon's normal growth led to the difficult decision to proceed with the risky surgery that could lead to both babies' deaths.

The surgery may be over but the McDonald's and Dr. Goodrich know it will be months of uncertainty and recovery. But the babies who were born as one, are now individuals.

See more images of conjoined twins who were separated:

Conjoined twins separated
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Conjoined twins separated

Acen (left) and Apio (right) Akello arrived at Nationwide Children`s Hospital conjoined as one and were separated during a 16-hour surgery on Sept. 3, 2015. The tissue expanders were placed in between them underneath their skin to prepare for separation. The girls are pictured here in their hospital room with their mother, Ester Akello.

(Photo: Nationwide Children's Hospital)

Acen (bottom) and Apio (top) Akello the morning before their separation surgery at Nationwide Children`s Hospital on Sept. 3, 2015.

(Photo: Nationwide Children's Hospital)

Pre-operative 3D modeling was an innovative part of how surgeons at Nationwide Children`s Hospital prepared for the separation surgery of twin girls who had part of their spines, muscle and tissue separated.

(Photo: Nationwide Children's Hospital)

Dr. Jeffrey R. Leonard, chief of neurosurgery at Nationwide Children's and neurosurgeon, Dr. Lance Governale, assisted each other to delicately separate the intertwined spinal cords of the conjoined twins.

(Photo: Nationwide Children's Hospital)

Carefully dividing the soft tissue, Dr. Gail Besner of Nationwide Children`s Hospital separates 11-month-old twin girls who had their spines, muscles and tissue separated during at 16-hour surgery.

(Photo: Nationwide Children's Hospital)

Twin girls were on two separate tables immediately after their separation surgery, but the surgery was still hours from being completed. The team from Nationwide Children's Hospital that was formerly huddled around one operating table now huddled around two, and additional nurses and anesthesiologists were brought in to assist in the reconstruction.

(Photo: Nationwide Children's Hospital)

Dr. Gail Besner of Nationwide Children`s Hospital took a brief moment away from operating to tell Ester Akello that her children were no longer conjoined.

(Photo: Nationwide Children's Hospital)


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